· 5 mins · Communication

The Future of Performance Management: Usage and AI

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Performance management tools have seriously lost the plot. They are completely disconnected from the work that people do every day. No one wants to use them and review seasons have become something you survive.

In the rush to standardize processes, produce executive reports and track compliance, the purpose of performance management has been lost: to support high-performance cultures where teams get results.

It’s not enough to just have a system in place – it needs to be a system that actually works. The best managers build their success on a foundation of consistent actions and strong communication, and that’s where software can make a real difference.

The future of performance management lies in a new approach that prioritizes the daily work and uses software to enable managers to create a culture of performance. This isn’t about measuring participation rates or ranking your team – it’s about building a high-performing team that consistently delivers great results. 

Performance is managed every day and it is time for companies to embrace this approach.


The Problem with Performance Management

Let’s be honest: traditional performance management tools are not built for managers. They’re inflexible, a bit clunky and disconnected from how work gets done. They’re designed for compliance and reporting, not actually enabling performance.

Managers need to be cajoled to use a system they forgot about after their last visit. They spend hours filling out forms and ticking boxes to prove they are managing their team instead of actually managing their team. 

The experience for employees is the same or worse. They are too often surprised to hear they are not on track leaving them demoralized and lacking the sense of purpose the process promised to foster.  Performance reviews end up being a source of anxiety and dread, rather than a chance to reflect on achievements and set new goals.

And what do companies get in return for all this hassle? A rigid, inflexible system that fails to capture the nuances of modern work or dynamics of their team. It’s no wonder that so many people see performance management as a necessary evil, rather than a strategic tool for driving success.

The reality is that traditional performance management tools are a relic of a bygone era. They belong in the same category as fax machines and landlines – obsolete relics of a time when performance management was designed to support command and control leadership structures.

It’s time to move on.


The Future of Performance Management: Usage then AI

Performance Depends on Daily Habits

Performance is not a fluke. It doesn’t come from filling out forms, surveys, and ranking talent. Don’t be fooled by the old-school incumbents – or the new-school ones that are just dressing up those same forms with a modern lick of paint.

Performance is built on daily habits and behaviors that align with your company’s goals. If you want to build a high-performing team that consistently delivers great results, your org needs to prioritize the high performance habits that create success.

I won’t cover them here, but these habits are no secret. They’ve been documented, studied, and personally blogged about by us for years. 

But let’s face it, we cannot rely on just manager willpower. Consistency around regular feedback and alignment to goals will fall by the wayside in the face of daily demands and distractions. That’s where software can make a real difference.

Software can, and should, enable habits

If consistent daily habits are the key to building high-performing teams, then software should support them….every day.

Traditional performance management tools do not. They’re outdated, clunky, and frustrating. They’re designed for compliance and reporting. Worst of all, the processes they create actively harm your business. They’re demotivating your employees, destroying morale, and killing productivity. And for what? To fill out some dashboard executives don’t even make time to review?

But imagine if performance software was intuitive, helpful, collaborative, and beautiful? Imagine if it was loved and wanted? Imagine if it helped those same daily habits that managers know they’re missing?

Most of all, imagine if it was used?

We believe it would make the difference between winning and losing the quarter. 

This is why we spent years building the world’s best 1:1 and meeting collaboration platform. One that thousands of managers sign up for every week – all on their own accord without anyone asking. Our platform makes it easy for managers to be intentional, thoughtful, and caring. They use it every day to  keep their team accountable, aligned, and on pace. 

But our mission does not end there. There’s more we can do to enable a high performance culture now that we have the usage part sorted.

Habits, Aided by Software, Enable Superpowers

With daily use by managers in meetings, we not only aid in those much needed habits, but are capturing all that data. 

It’s long been said that, “if you have great 1:1s then there should be no surprises when it comes time for the performance review”. Or, put another way, when managers have great 1:1s, the review should write itself. 

And now, finally, when managers have great 1:1s the review literally writes itself.

This makes performance management more efficient and thus more effective. AI analyzes notes, goal updates, and feedback conversations from 1:1 meetings, and uses them to draft performance reviews. Managers spend their time reflecting and reviewing, not searching for notes and words. Reviews are based on all 26 or 52 weeks of data, not just what a manager is able to remember that day.

And when we unburden managers from writing reviews, we give them time back to focus on higher-value work, such as developing their teams, creating strategies, and driving business results. Creating a new era of productivity powered by performance systems.

We believe the future of performance management lies in great software that enables daily habits. If you’re still relying on traditional performance management tools, it’s time to make the switch. Usage is the only thing you need to focus on in the AI era.

Interested?

See our take on Reviews

What you should do now

You made it to the end of this article! Here are some things you can do now:

  1. If communication is a challenge for your team, you should check out our library of meeting agenda templates.
  2. Learn more about Hypercontext and how it can help you run a high performing org.
  3. If you found this article helpful, please share it with others on Linkedin or X (Twitter)
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